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Webster Co. supervisors renew Hepp’s contract

Address complaints about animal control officer’s response to calls

August 22, 2012
By BRANDON L. SUMMERS ( , Messenger News

The Webster County Board of Supervisors approved Tuesday renewing its contract with animal control officer Blaine Hepp. The renewal includes a 3 percent increase for Hepp, effective Aug. 1.

"The increase is to offset fuel costs," said Bob Singer, board chairman.

The item was tabled previously while the board responded to public complaints that the animal control officer wasn't responding to calls.

"There were some comments with the problem of returning calls," Singer said. "I found out what the source of those were and visited to find out the extent of it. What I found was, the animal control officer was doing a good job, except several people had called to complain, but they complained to the wrong place."

Calls were being directed to the Almost Home Humane Society of North Central Iowa, Singer said.

"I asked them if they do get further calls to contact this office, or the chief of police or the sheriff's department or the LEC and let someone know someplace they're not getting their phone calls returns," he said.

Singer addressed the issue with Hepp personally, he said.

"I said I'd visit with our animal control officer and explain how important it is to the general public to return phone calls," Singer said. "With the volume that he handles, basically on his own, I'm sure he's busy. Nonetheless, it's one of those things. He has to return phone calls."

Singer reminded the public that, per his contract, Hepp's duty is to remove dead deer from the road and to collect stray cats and dogs. His contract does not require him to respond to calls about bats or raccoons.

The board also approved an application for Iowa Department of Transportation traffic safety funds for signs on paved roads, phase two. The total project cost is $648,000, according to Randy Will, county engineer.

"We are applying for safety funds in the amount of just under $29,000," he said. "That is for the purchase of stop signs, stop ahead signs and passing signs."

The county's contribution is labor and equipment to install these signs, Will said.

The board also approved purchasing one new tandem axle truck from O'Halloran International in Des Moines, at a total cost of $100,996. The price is based on the unit pricing of their low bid for two tandem axle trucks, approved March 20.

"This is the result of a truck that was damaged May 21st," Will said. "The county was not at fault. We have arrived at a settlement with the insurance company, with the person at fault."

He added, "The best decision would be to purchase a new truck and take the settlement."

Last, the supervisors adopted a resolution fixing a date for a meeting on the proposition to authorize loan agreements. The issuance is not to exceed $1.5 million, general obligation capital loan notes, series 2012.

"This is better done now than later," Singer said.



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